Hi Everyone! As the freezing temperatures outside continue, I’m on my fourth cup of tea, just trying to stay warm and thaw my hands out after coming in from the cold. I always seem to forget just how cold winter gets. As much as I like the snow, I’m impatiently counting down until the first day of spring … 28 more days to go! And until then, I’m filling my kitchen with extra warmth and sweetness to get through the rest of the winter. Besides being delicious, this Maple Almond Granola will fill your home with the warmest and sweetest aroma of the maple syrup, almonds and oats all baking together into a perfectly delicious breakfast treat or snack!
YOU WILL NEED
4 cups rolled oats
1 to 1 1/2 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 to 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 325 deg F and line a baking pan with parchment paper (I use a 9×13 inch baking pan). Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon, until you have a smooth mixture. Add in your oats and chopped almonds, and toss everything together until everything is well combined and fully coated in the maple syrup mixture. Pour everything into your baking pan and spread it out into an even layer using a spatula (pack it together pretty well). Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until the oats begin to turn just slightly golden brown. Let cool, then break off into chunks, and add the dried cranberries, or any other dried fruit (or even chocolate chips! Dark chocolate chips would be delicious with the almonds and cranberries!) and store in an airtight container. Serve over yogurt or milk with fresh fruit or eat as a snack!
(*Recipe notes: Towards the last ten minutes or so of baking time, watch the granola very carefully, as it can go from not done yet to burnt VERY quickly. Bake it until it’s just slightly golden brown so you get a nice chunky texture, but don’t have a burnt flavor. Baking time will depend on your oven, you may need to bake it for longer/shorter. As for the ingredients, I didn’t use any additional sugar other than the maple syrup, so this granola isn’t very sweet. If you prefer a sweeter granola, you can add in a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, or honey, or substitute honey for the maple syrup all together and even increase its amount. You could also add other ingredients besides almonds and dried cranberries, like other chopped nuts or dried fruit (I like to add the dried fruit once the granola is done baking, not before), chocolate chips, coconut and various seeds. Add in as much or as little of the nuts/dried fruit/etc as you like!)
Happy Baking, Everyone! Stay warm and have a wonderful rest of your week!
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